Last year, American fans finally got a chance to own the original Japanese version of 1954’s GODZILLA (a.k.a. GOJIRA) on domestic DVD, thanks to Classic Media. Now, the company is releasing two more titles on DVD: GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN (1954) and GODZILLA VERSUS MOTHRA (1964).
GODZILLA RAIDS again is the first sequel, churned out in the aftermath of the success of GOJIRA; it’s also the only other Godzilla movie shot in black-and-white. Like most sequels, it falls short of the original, but it has some nice moments, particularly the ending, which features an aerial bombardment that buries Godzilla under an avalanche of snow. The film’s title was changed to GIGANTIS, THE FIRE MONSTER for U.S. release, and some truly ridiculous dubbing ruined the whole thing.
GODZILLA VERSUS MOTHRA is widely regarded as the best of the sequels. It’s a colorful engaging tale of capitalist greed gone wrong, and the two monsters make for a nice visual contrast. This is well known among fans as the only Godzilla film that actually has more footage of Godzilla in the American version (which contains a sequence of American ships firing some “Frontier” missiles at the big radioactive dinosaur).
Both films have been available on U.S. home video before, but only in their altered, Englished-dubbed versions. The new DVDs (like the GORJIA DVD) will offer both the original Japanese versions and the American versions of the films, plus extras.
Both DVDs will stomp into video stores on Apirl 3.
In honor of this approaching event, we’re adding some photos from the films to our photo gallery. Click on the image below to check them out.